Semi-Naked Pumpkin Chocolate Cake

I couldn’t let this fall pass without making a fall theme dessert. I love pumpkin and I always use it in various recipes during it’s season. This time I’ve decided for a semi-naked pumpkin chocolate layer cake. Three layers of moist flavorful pumpkin cake with lot of chocolate chunks inside, frosted with a cinnamon cream cheese frosting, topped with chocolate ganache and decorated with golden chocolate leaves.

The recipe is easy, the chocolate leaves are really a pleasure to make, and it tastes absolutely amazing. As holidays are approaching this Semi-Naked Pumpkin Cake might be a perfect choice to celebrate with your closed ones. Enjoy!

Semi-Naked Pumpkin Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Leaves

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Semi-Naked Pumpkin Chocolate Cake

Semi-Naked Pumpkin Chocolate Cake

5 from 1 vote
Semi-naked pumpkin chocolate layer cake -three layers of moist flavorful pumpkin cake with lot of chocolate chunks inside, frosted with an easy cinnamon cream cheese frosting, topped with chocolate ganache and decorated with golden chocolate leaves.
Servings 12 servings
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


Pumpkin Cake Layers

  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp (6g) baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp (9g) baking soda
  • 1 tsp (5g) salt
  • 2 tsp (6g) cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp (2g) nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp (1g) ginger
  • 1/4 tsp (1g) cloves
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup (200g) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups (275g) vegetable/canola oil
  • 12 oz (350g) pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp (10g) vanilla extract
  • 7 oz (200g) semisweet chocolate , chips/chunks

Chocolate Leaves

  • 2.5 oz (70g) semisweet chocolate , for melting
  • 1 oz (30g) semisweet chocolate , for tempering
  • Non toxic leaves like mint, rose, lemon or camellia leaves, washed and dried

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 17 oz (500g) cream cheese , room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cup (300g) whipping cream , 35%fat
  • 1 cup (120g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp (3g) cinnamon

Chocolate Ganache

  • 3.5 oz (100g) semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup (120g) whipping cream

For decorating

  • golden powder
  • cinnamon sticks


  • Prepare the pumpkin cake layers. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Grease and line with parchment paper three 7 inch (18 cm) round cake pans.
  • In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl add eggs with both sugar and mix for few minutes until creamy and lighter in color. Add oil and mix until well combined. Mix in pumpkin puree and vanilla extract. Gradually mix in flour mixture. Using a spatula incorporate chocolate. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans.
  • Bake for about 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let pans cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the cakes from the pan and let them cool completely.
  • Prepare chocolate leaves. Melt the 2.5 oz (70g) semisweet chocolate over bain marie. Remove from heat and add 1 oz (30g) of chocolate for tempering. Let it cool slightly.
  • Brush the chocolate on the backside of the leaves and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  • Refrigerate the leaves for about 10 minutes, remove and peel the leaves. Keep the chocolate leaves refrigerated until ready to use.
  • Prepare cream cheese frosting. In a bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar and cinnamon and mix just until combined.
  • In another bowl whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold into the cream cheese mixture until well combined.
  • Assemble the cake:  Cut the tops of the cakes to create flat surfaces. Place one cake layer on your serving plate. Spread evenly with a bit less than half of frosting. Add the second layer of cake. Spread evenly with a bit less than half of frosting. Add the last layer of cake. Gradually spread the remaining frosting on top and sides of the cake.  Remove some of the frosting using an offset spatula or scraper to create the semi-naked look. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. The cake needs to be chilled before adding the chocolate ganache drippings.
  • Prepare the chocolate ganache. Heat the cream in a small saucepan. When the cream just begins to boil at the edges, remove from heat and pour over the chopped chocolate. Let sit one minute, then stir until smooth. Allow to cool a bit before making drips on your cake.
  • When ganache is cooled enough, use a spoon and start making drips around the edges. If the ganache hardened too much heat it a bit over bain-marie to get to a pouring consistency. When you finish all the drips on the edges fill the top with ganache and spread it evenly using the offset spatula. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before decorating.
  • Decorate with chocolate leaves and cinnamon sticks. Slightly brush golden powder on the leaves if desired.
  • The leftover frosted cake can be covered and refrigerated for up to a week. Serve at room temperature.



Serving: 1gCalories: 758kcalCarbohydrates: 71.8gProtein: 9.1gFat: 54.5gSaturated Fat: 20.7gCholesterol: 128mgSugar: 49.3g
Calories: 758kcal
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate dessert, chocolate pumpkin cake, naked cake, pumpkin cake, semi-naked cake, Thanksgiving dessert, Thanskgiving

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @homecookingadventure on Instagram and hashtag it #homecookingadventure.

Join the Conversation

  1. Stine Mari Author says:

    What a beautiful cake! I love those leaves, very clever. Yum YUM

  2. Ben Myhre Author says:

    This cake looks very luxurious and I would certainly have a slice of this!

  3. monika Author says:

    Instead of three 7-inch pans, can you use two 8-inch pans or two 9-inch pans?

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      Hello Monika.

      Yes, you can use  8 or 9-inch pans; it will be ok.


  4. Emily Author says:

    This cake is absolutely divine!! Spicy, moist, creamy, with a rich chocolate ganache to top it all off! It ticks off every holiday dessert box! You really can’t ask for more. I made for Thanksgiving and everyone loved it. Highly recommended.

  5. Iman Author says:

    How can I prepare pumpkin puree

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      Hello Iman.

      Cut the pumpkin in slices and boil it. After that you mash it.

  6. Sharon from the Piedmont Author says:

    What an elegant cake! I made this yesterday in a trial run for some friends in anticipation of an upcoming Friendsgiving. Everyone loved the moistness and blend of flavors although I will increase slightly the quantity of ginger and cloves as I like a spicier cake. Making the leaves was fun and easier than expected. I used leaves from my rose bushes and their size matched the scale of 8″ cake. The layers were not too thin despite the pan size being larger than suggested in the recipe. If I can figure out how to add a photo, I will. Thank you for sharing your delicious and beautiful creations!

  7. lulu Author says:


    Your videos are amazing! I was wondering, can I use fresh pumpkin instead of puree?
    Also in you recipe for caramel carrot cake, would it be possible to put pumpkin instead of carrot, with less sugar because pumpkin is sweet?

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